If you missed Palm’s keynote yesterday, be sure to check out TreoCentral’s coverage of all things Palm, Pre, and webOS! To quickly recap: Palm held their keynote showcasing their new device and platform. Here are Android Central's impressions on the events.
When word started spreading about a new Palm device and the Nova OS, we at Android Central ignored it—mostly because we only focus on Android happenings—but also because in recent years Palm has been just trudging along, barely innovating, and minimally surviving that it didn’t warrant any extra attention. Our honest expectations of the Palm keynote? Announce a barely evolutionary device with another limited OS. Miss crucial opportunity. Everyone walks away disappointed. And then fade to obscurity.
Read on to see what happened and what Android Central thinks?
Suffice to say, that didn’t happen. In fact, it was the exact opposite. Instead of the predicted eulogy of a keynote, we got a stunning showcase of innovation. Palm hit it out the proverbial ballpark and the industry just got a jolt sent through every platform: Android isn’t polished enough. iPhone is too limited. Blackberry is outdated. Windows Mobile isn’t as user friendly. Announcement: The smartphone market just gained a shiny, trusted & capable competitor. Welcome back to the mix, Palm.
But as surprised and as blown away as we were after the keynote (and trust us, we’re still thinking about it) the fact of the matter is: the Palm Pre doesn’t exist yet. It’s certainly some great ideas packed in sleek looking devices but it’s as good as vaporware on prototypes (okay maybe not that bad). But honestly, we don’t know when it’ll release, how good it’ll really be, how much it’ll cost, etc.
What if the Pre retails at $499? What if Sprint bleeds so much money that they’ll no longer be able to support it? What if there are more hardware cracking issues? What if webOS is buggy? There are still a ton of questions still left about stability, development, execution and everything. We know it looks good, we don’t know if it’ll actually be good. Yes, Palm showcased a great product yesterday. But it didn’t debut it and it didn’t seem like they were anywhere near ready to debut it. It re-instills faith in the Palm faithful but should it stop you in believing in the Android movement? Definitely, no.
Whenever the Palm Pre releases, Android will have that much time to get better. If it’s 3 months down the line, the Cupcake update would be on our G1 and we’ll have countless third party apps. 6 months? 9 months? We’ll be on Android’s first birthday cake. Can you imagine the advancements and third party apps we’ll get before the Pre even releases? Yeah, me neither. The Palm Pre simply challenges Android to get better and Android can certainly handle that.
The point is, yes, Palm announced a great product and platform in their keynote, but the battle for smartphone supremacy doesn’t end there. This marks the beginning—it starts here. The keynote was a breath of fresh air in a slowly suffocating industry. But I’d worry more about Windows Mobile and Blackberry than I would Android. Android still has a desktop class operating system behind it, a growing community that develops innovative third party apps, the promise of multiple form factors, and of course, the open sourceness of it all.
So as impressed as we were with Palm, we’re only excited about using it in the Smartphone Round Robin 2009—not to replace our G1's with. We still think the safest and best horse to bet on in this Smartphone Race is, and will always be, Android.
What did you guys think about the Palm Pre?